This coming Wednesday the Korakuen Hall hosts a small, but notable card. It involves a once touted prospects from the Celes gym, a former OPBF champion and a former Japanese title challenger.
The main event will see the once touted Koki Koshikawa (7-1, 5) taking on former OPBF Light Middleweight champion Ratchasi Sithsaithong (8-7, 6) in a very good test for Kokshikawa. The Japanese fighter turned professional with a bit of early career buzz but would step up a touch too quickly and lose a wide decision to Koshinmaru Saito in 2015. After a 2 year break he has reeled off 3 straight stoppage wins, including a big win last time out against Daisuke Sakamoto. Ratchasi, aka Niwat Kongkan, went on a great run in 2016 and 2017 but has now lost 4 of his last 5. At his best the Thai was a nightmare to beat, with a determined will to win and heavy hands, but now appears to be a fighter well on the slide. Despite being on the slide a win for Koshikawa would be his best win to date.
A very good supporting bout will see former 2-time Japanese Featherweight title challenger Tatsuya Otsubo (12-9-1, 4) take on Yosuke Kawano (13-7-2, 7), in a bout between two Japanese ranked fighters. The last time we saw Otsubo he came up short against Taiki Minamoto in a very exciting Japanese title bout that saw Otsubo being stopped in the 9th round of a very competitive contest. The 30 year old Kawano has faced a number of decent domestic foes, and has generally been competitive, fight to a draw with Takenori Ohashi and losing narrow decisions to Ryuto Araya and Dai Iwai. This should be a very competitive contest.
A third bout of note will see Japanese ranked Kazuma Sanpei (15-5, 6) take on Yuji Awata (11-5, 4). Last time out Sanpei was stopped by Yoshimitsu Kimura, ending a 3 fight winning run, and he has mixed with very good domestic fighters since winning the 2013 Rookie of the Year. Awata on the other hand 2-2 in his last 4, but was the 2016 Rookie of the Year and is looking to get back to winning ways here.
Action is back at the Korakuen Hall this coming Monday for a notable Kadoebi show featuring a number of notable fighters.
The main event of the card will see the retiring Daisuke Sakamoto (14-9-3, 8) take on the once touted Koki Koshikawa (6-1, 4). The 36 year old Sakamoto is a former Japanese “interim” Welterweight champion, who came up short when taking on the then regular champion Toshio Arikawa last November. Since the loss to Arikawa we've not seen Sakamoto in action and he has publicly that this will be his final bout. Koshikawa was once tipped for big things, and after some early promise his career has stagnated, and he has never really bounced back from a loss to Koshinmaru Saito in 2015. This is a big opportunity for Koshikawa, but an emotional moment for Sakamoto.
Heavy handed Japanese Middleweight contender Shoma Fukumoto (12-2, 10) will be looking to continue rebuilding his confidence as he takes on unbeaten Australian Mark Lucas (9-0, 3). The hard punching Fukumoto was stopped inside a round last December by Kazuto Takesako in a Japanese title eliminator and since then has only fought once, beating a very over-matched Indonesian foe. This should be a step up in class for Fukumoto, a tough one on paper given that Lucas is unbeaten, will be hungry and actually holds a win over Arnel Tinampay, who stopped Fukumoto back in 2013. Saying that however Lucas has been inactive for a year, and that may show in his performance here.
Popular Japanese-Brazilian Cristiano Aoqui (12-7-2, 8) will be looking to build on his quick blow out win over Duang Hongin as he takes on Filipino visitor Joffrey Garcia (6-8-4, 5). The talented and exciting to watch Aoqui had a nightmare 13 months, from July 2016 to August 2017, suffering 3 defeats but has since bounced back with a win and will be looking for a second one here. As for Garcia he has been stopped in both of his bouts outside of the Philippines, and we suspect that form will continue against Aoqui.
Another man of note on this card is the very promising Kazuki Saito (5-0, 5), who is tipped to be a star following a very strong amateur career. The unbeaten 25 year old will be facing off with Thai foe Pharanpetch Tor Buamas (22-3, 18), a recent OPBF Super Featherweight title challenger. The touted Saito hasn't had things all his own way, having been dropped earlier in his career, but does look like a real talent and will be looking to shine against the experienced Thai. As for Pharanpetch he has lost in all 3 of his fights outside of Thailand, and it would take a career best performnce to avoid another loss on the road.
This coming Friday isn't a busy day, but there is a string of bouts worthy of note.
The most notable Asian card of the day takes place at the Korakuen Hall and is headlined by a Japanese title eliminator.
That eliminator comes at 140lbs and will see Japanese based Dominican Vladimir Baez (23-3-2, 21), aka “Destino Japan”, take on the in form Kazuyasu Okamoto (14-4, 4). Baez really impressed last time out, battering Daishi Nagata into submission in 5 rounds, and has scored 2 stoppage wins this year to get his career back on track following a loss to Teerachai Kratingdaenggym last year. Okamoto was stopped by Kazuya Murata back in December 2014 but has since gone 5-0 (1) and will be be fully aware that this is a great opportunity to secure a title fight in 2018.
In one of a number of notable supporting bouts we'll see the light punching Ryo Narizuka (8-7) take on Japanese ranked Light Flyweight Naoyuki Tsukada (8-3-4, 3). Without a stoppage to his name it's hard to see a win for Narizuka, here. As for Tsukada he's in good form, going 5-0-3 (1) in his last 8, but hasn't really beaten a fighter of any note during that run.
A bout between two Japanese ranked fighters will see Ganbare Shota (14-7-2, 2) take on Hikaru Ota (8-6, 4), with both men knowing a win will move them towards a potential Japanese title fight in 2018. At the time of writing Shota was ranked #13 and Ota #14 by the JBC at 112 lbs, and it's clear the winner should move to the top 10, whilst the loser will likely drop out of the top 15.
One other bout on this card will see the touted Koki Koshikawa (5-1, 3) v look for his second win of the year. The Celes Gym fighter was tipped for big things, but a loss in 2015 put the breaks on his career, and saw him take more than 24 months out. Here he will be expecting a straight forward win as he takes on Thai visitor Taengthong Sithsaithong (0-3).
There will also be notable Asian action in Texas, with a trio of Asian fighters fighting on the same card.
The most notable of those bouts will see exciting Filipino puncher Aston Palicte (23-2, 19) fight for the second time on US soil. The heavy handed Filipino fighter will be up against former 2-time world title challenger Jose Alfredo Rodriguez (32-6, 19), who has lost in world title bouts against both Kazuto Ioka and Jerwin Ancajas. Coming in to this bout Rodriguez has suffered back-to-back losses, and is almost a year removed from his last win, and is unlikely to pose and threat to Palicte.
Unbeaten 22 year old Kazakh Ali Akhmedov (9-0, 7) takes a notable step up on this card in the chief support bout, as he takes on fellow unbeaten fighter DeShon Webster (9-0, 6). The Kazakh has looked very destructive recently, and has stopped his last 3 fights to claim his first two titles. Those titles, the WBC Youth and NABF Light Heavyweight titles, will be on the line here. Aged 26 Webster really does seem to be the one taking the bigger step up in class here, but like Akhmedov he's unbeaten and will be full of confidence here going into the biggest bout of his career.
Another unbeaten Kazakh on this card is Iskander Kharsan (2-0, 2), who takes on fellow novice David Alfaro (1-0) in a 6 rounder. This looks like a good match up on paper, but it's hard to see past the 20 year old Kazakh, who does appear to have some confident backers in his camp.
Several Asian fighters will be fighting in Victoria.
The most notable bout, at least for us, will see Sylvia Scharper (7-1-2, 1) take on Thai Ploynapa Sakrungrueng (13-10-1, 1) in a bout for the WIBA Super Flyweight title. The Thai has lost her last 4, including a stoppage to Momo Koseki and had previously fought Eun Hye Lee for a WBO world title, again suffering a stoppage. Scharper is far from being a world class fighter, but should be far, far too good for the Thai.
Australian Capital Territory, Australia
A second Australia show will take place in Woden, and we'll see a number of Asian fighters in action, mostly they are there to pad a local's record, sadly. One of those likely to pick up another loss is Egy Rozten (5-17-2, 3), who will be up against the unbeaten Haithem Laamouz (11-0, 4). Rozten has lost his last 5, and will almost certainly suffer another defeat again here, potentially inside the distance.
This coming Saturday isn't a huge day in the world of Asian boxing, but it is a pretty interesting one, with a number of notable fighters in action.
The most significant of the bouts is set to take place in Australia, where we actually see two Chinese fighters fighting in pretty interesting looking match ups.
The more notable of the two bouts will see OPBF Super Middleweight champion Jayde Mitchell (14-1, 8) defending his title against heavy handed, and unbeaten, Chinese challenger Ainiwaer Yilixiati (10-0, 8), in what looks like a mouth watering bout. The Australian won the title last year, when he easily beat Shintaro Matsumoto, and has strung together 4 straight stoppages since then. Here however the champion goes in against a young and hungry puncher looking to make a name for himself in a what is a huge opportunity.
The other bout featuring a Chinese fighter on this card will see the once beaten local Jake Carr (13-1, 4) take on Adili Abulimiti (8-1-1, 5). Again this looks like a really solidly made match up, and whilst the local will be the favourite the bout is certainly one with a danger to it, and Abulimiti will be looking to make the most of his opportunity to score a notable upset on foreign soil
In Tokyo we get a relatively low key card, but one that should have a fair bit of low key action.
The main event will see Ryusei Nakajima (10-2, 3) look to play the spoiler as he takes on Vladimir Baez (22-3-2, 20), with Baez having a bout lined up for December 8th against Kazuyasu Okamoto to decide the Japanese mandatory challenger for the 2018 Champion Carnival. Nakajima will maybe feel like he's being over-looked here but he would still need a career best performance to over-come the heavy handed Japanese based Dominican.
In a bout that should be more interesting than the records suggest we'll see Akinori Hoshino (13-7-1, 9) take on Isao Aoyama (9-5-1, 2). On paper this looks a pretty poor bout but neither man should be over-looked going forward. Aoyama holds a very notable draw against the recently crowned WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura and reached the 2011 Rookie of the Year final at Flyweight, whilst Hoshino is on a roll with recent upset wins over Kenya Yamashita and Shun Kosaka. This might not look amazing on paper but we're expecting something very exciting.
Also on this card will be once touted prospect Koki Koshikawa (4-1, 2), who returns to the ring following a 2 year break. The last time Koshikawa fought he was widely out pointed by Koshinmaru Saito and he'll be looking to get things back on track here as he takes on a Thai visitor in an 8 rounder.
Talking of Thai's it's worth noting that Thai teenager Saenganan Sithsaithong (16-0, 7) will be ending a 16 month break from the ring as he goes up against Indonesian visitor Waldo Sabu (12-9, 2) in a bout for the WBC ABC Silver Bantamweight title. The Thai was once touted by the Thai press, but his inactivity has clearly slowed his rise and it's going to be interesting to see what he's going to be like on his return to the ring.
In Singapore we'll see more regional WBC title action as Nor Rizan (8-2, 5) and Jaipetch Chaiyonggym (7-7, 4) battle over the WBC ABC Continental Bantamweight title, in what looks a less than amazing bout.
New South Wales, Australia
Going full circle, back to Australia, there will be a bout featuring the debuting Troy O'Meley (0-0) taking on Thai journeyman Aphichat Koedchatturat (2-15-1), in what should be a straight forward win for O'Meley.
One of the best Japanese shows of the month comes on June 8th in a card that has so many good bouts it's difficult to really know which contest is the most exciting.
The main event is a Lightweight clash between current Japanese Super Featherweight champion Rikki Naito (12-0, 5) and former “world” title contender Nihito Arakawa (25-5-1, 16). This is a huge step up in class for Naito and is also a move up in weight for a man that many have tipped as a potential world champion. For Arakawa, who has shown signs of being on the slide, this is a must win after 3 losses in his last 4. On paper it's a brawler against a mover and we expect this could be something very special with both men being forced to answer a lot of questions if they are to come out on top. Brave match making from both and the sort of match up that we love.
The co-main event will see the always fun to watch Koki Eto (16-3-1, 12) defending his OPBF Flyweight title against unheralded challenger Yuki Fukumoto (17-9, 5). On paper it looks like a mismatch though having followed Eto's career in the way we have we know he never makes life easy for himself and he'll almost certainly find a way to get himself in to some sort of trouble before scoring the all important win. We suspect that a win for Eto will be followed by him vacating the title and turning his focus on to winning a world title, though he is unfortunately stuck in one of the sports most stacked divisions.
In a supporting bout we see the promising Koki Koshikawa (4-0, 2) take a huge step up in class as he takes on former Japanese and OPBF title challenger Koshinmaru Saito (20-7-1, 11). Koshikawa, a fighter from the Celes gym, is tipped to go a long way following a solid amateur career on the domestic scene however Saito is very experienced and came very close to winning the Japanese Welterweight title last year. This is a great match up and should answer questions regarding the future of both fighters.
Another supporting bout will see Yusaku Kuga (10-1-1, 6) put his OPBF and Japanese rankings on the like against the more experienced Kojiro Takada (13-8-3, 9). We suspect that the talented Kuga will over-come Takada but this will be a good test for the once beaten fighter who will likely be looking at getting a Japanese title fight in the next 12-18 months, if he wins again here.
One other bout of note will see the heavy handed and really exciting Daigo Higa (5-0, 5) in action against Filipino southpaw Cris Alfante (11-4, 4). Higa has looked like a destructive ball of anger so far but this is a big step up against a man who has mixed with very good fighters. Alfante has experience to make things very tricky for Higa however the home fighter has looked like a sensational prospect and will be hoping to shine again here.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Although the action has been slow so far this year we do seem to be starting to see things heat up, albeit gradually. That build up was meant to move up a gear on February 18th though unfortunately an injury has curtailed a world title eliminator.
The main bout on this card was supposed to be an IBF Bantamweight eliminator between former Japanese and OPBF Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa (18-1, 11) and American fighter Sergio Perales (24-2, 16). Unfortunately and injury to Perales has seen this bout called off an instead Iwasa will be fighting late replacement Ricardo Roa (12-9-2, 4) of the Philippines. It's a disappointing fall back for Iwasa who only got notice of Perales's injury about 2 weeks before the fight though he'll likely know that a title fight is still just around the corner, as long as he beats Roa here.
In one of the top support bouts we will get the chance to see one of Iwasa's most promising stablemates, Koki Koshikawa (3-0, 1). The 24 year old Light Welterweight-come-Welterweight will be fighting in his first 8 rounder and could well progress to title level by the end of this year, if not early next year. From what we under-stand Koshikawa's opponent will be Indonesian visitor Sandi Korga (4-6, 1), who was stopped in his only previous visit to Japan.
Another of the support bouts will see the heavy handed Taiki Minamoto (9-4, 8) battle against Yuta Horiike (9-3-3, 2) in what appears to be a great of Minamoto's power and ability against a generally, albeit somewhat limited, opponent. A third support bout will see Isao Aoyama (5-3, 1) return to the ring for the first time in almost 3 years as he battles against Sho Kimura (5-1-1) in a competitive looking 6 rounder at Flyweight.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This Friday is a very busy day in Asian boxing with numerous former world champions in action and several really interesting bouts.
The first of the former world champions in action today is former WBC Super Flyweight world champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (29-4-1, 26). The heavy handed Thai will be defending his regional WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Flyweight title against Filipino Bobby Concepcion (11-5-1, 5) in what we suspect will prove to be a disappointingly one sided mismatch. Concepcion comes into this bout on the back of successive stoppage losses and will not be expected to even test the Thai puncher who has scored wins in each of the last two months.
In Tokyo we get a really interesting show, albeit one that is more interesting for those interested in Japanese domestic and Oriental scenes.
The main event promising to be thrilling as the always entertaining Shuhei Tsuchiya (16-3, 14) battles against Japanese based Filipino Ricky Sismundo (26-8-1, 12). The bout pits two Japanese ranked Lightweights against each other with both hoping to recapture some form after recent losses. Tsuchiya enters this bout 2-3 in his last 5 bouts with the most recent losses being stoppages to Leonardo Zappvigna, who stopped him in a bloody 10 round affair, and Masayoshi Nakatani, who dominated him in a 3-round break out win for the Ioka youngster. Sismundo lost his last bout, also to Nakatni, by decision and will know that a win here could open up title opportunities for him in 2015. This is a fantastic bout and should be thrilling for as long as it lasts.
In a second bout between Japanese and Filipino fighters fan will see #2 ranked Japanese Super Featherweight Yuya Sugizaki (19-9-1, 6) battle against heavy handed but limited Filipino slugger Gabriel Royo (9-10-2, 8). This should be an easy win for Sugizaki though Royo's power may keep this interesting early on.
Another bout on this card that has caught out eye will see the OPBF and Japanese Yuta Nakagawa (13-4-1, 8) risking his rankings against the heavy hitting Yuta Saito (7-4-2, 6). Saito was the 2012 All Japan Rookie of the Year MVP though has really failed to shine in his last two bouts, if he catches Nakagawa this could be an interesting fight however Nakagawa should win given his ability and experience.
A fourth bout from this show that we're interested in is a 6 rounder that features the touted Koki Koshikawa (2-0, 1). Koshikawa will be fighting against Ryoji Miyagi (7-4-1, 4) in a clear step up for the Celes gym prospect. Miyagi comes into this bout with no real form having lost his last 2 bouts, including a stoppage to current Japanese Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada, however he does have an edge in experience and could well test the promising youngster, who turns 24 just days before this fight.
In the most interesting of two separate Russian cards we will see several notable fighters including two former world champions in the main event. Sadly however a number of these bouts do feel like mismatches.
The biggest mismatch is in the main event, where recent WBO Light Welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov (23-3, 16) battles against Mexican veteran Jose Luis Castillo (66-12-1, 57). In his prime Castillo would have been a perfect opponent to see Provodnikov fight, in fact that would likely have been a classic. Sadly Castillo is now almost a decade past his prime and aged 40 he's unlikely to do much more than be a human puncher here for the “Siberian Rocky”.
In a second 12 rounder fans will see the light hitting but talented Andrey Klimov (18-1, 9) defending his WBO Inter-Continental Super Featherweight title against Mexican visitor Gabino Cota (16-2-1, 14). We suspect that Klimov will win this as Cota has a very padded record, though with 14 stoppages in 19 bouts he may have genuine power that could make this interesting, though it is doubtful.
A third 12 rounder on this show sees the exciting Sergey Lipinets (4-0, 3) going for his first professional title. Lipinets will be hoping to claim the WBO Asia Pacific Welterweight title as he battles against Filipino Ernie Sanchez (14-5-1, 5) in what looks to be an opportunity to let Lipinets into the world WBO world rankings. We like the Russian and we like that he's being fast tracked and in all honesty we can't see anything but a Lipinets win here.
At Cruiserweight we see another former world champion in actual as Cuban veteran Juan Carlos Gomez (55-3-0-1, 20) attempts to end the KO streak of Russian puncher Dmitry Kudryashov (15-0, 15). On paper this is a step up for the Russian though if he wins in style there is little doubt that he'll be moved towards a world title bout in 2015. Gomez is a long way removed from his prime but he's on a nice run of 6 straight wins and knows a win here will move back into the world rankings. We doubt the win is all Kudryashov wants here and he'll be seeking a stoppage to keep his great run going.
A second Cruiserweight bout here will see Rakhim Chakhkiev (20-1, 15) battling against the heavy handed Jackson Junior (15-1, 13) in what looks like a genuinely exciting bout for the Russian ahead of possible world title bout in 2015.
One other notable name down for this show is Olympic champion Egor Mekhontsev (6-0, 6) who will be in his 7th bout of the year. We want to see the Mekhontsev step up now as he's now 30 years old and hasn't got time to waste on many more mismatches, especially given his amateur pedigree, power and ability. Sadly however he is only fighting against Joey Vegas (17-9-1, 10) and this shouldn't be difficult at all for the talented Russian.
On a second Russian show we have a few interesting, though lower level, bouts.
The most interesting bout here comes at Cruiserweight as the promising Yury Kashinsky (4-0, 4) battles against Yuriy Barashian (27-7, 18) in a clear step up for Kashinsky who could become yet another Russian name in the Cruiserweight rankings.
A second notable bout here will see PABA Light Middleweight champion Pavel Mamontov (9-1-2, 2) defending his title against Argentinian fighter Oscar Roberto Medina (24-6-2, 9). We're not big on Mamontov and wouldn't be surprised to see him losing sometime soon, but it's unlikely to be here.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We're used to seeing fights for the OPBF title often involving a Japanese fighter against a Filipino fighter. We get one of those again in Tuesday though we also get a small shake up to the formula as we also get the chance to see an all Filipino OPBF title fight in a busy day of action on the regional level.
Metro Manila, Philippines
We get the all Filipino OPBF title fight in Metro Manila as the vacant OPBF Light Flyweight title is put up for grabs. The title which was vacated by Naoya Inoue will actually be one of the most anticipated OPBF titles fight in a long as we get two world class fighters battling for the belt. In one corner will be the highly under-rated Jonathan Taconing (17-2-1, 14) whilst in the other will be recent IBF title challenger Vergilio Silvano (18-3-1, 10).
Although neither Taconing or Silvano have been world champions we expect to see both back in world title action over the next few years and as a result this bout should be seen as pseudo world title eliminator as well as being an OPBF title fight.
The Taconing/Silvano fight is one of two title fights on this show with the other being a Filipino (GAB) Bantamweight title fight between the experienced Monico Laurente (23-10, 5) and the once beaten Jetro Pabustan (22-1-5, 6). Impressively Pabustan comes into this bout on a 14 fight unbeaten streak whilst Laurente hace lost 3 of his last 4 and will surely know that he needs a win just to kick start his now faltering career.
A third bout of note on this card will feature Juan Miguel Elorde (14-1, 6), the grandson of the great Flash Elorde. Elorde will be to improve his record as he fights Indonesia's excellently named Budi Risky (8-3, 5). We're expecting Elorde to win quite easily and Risky is 0-2 outside of Indonesia, though we don't view Elorde as anything special, unlike his legendary grandfather.
The OPBF title fight is in the Japanese capital as the WBC #1 ranked Bantamweight and current OPBF champion Ryosuke Iwasa (16-1, 10) looks for the first defence of his title. Iwasa has a tough assignment ahead of him with Filipino Richard Pumicpic (14-5-2, 4) looking for his chance to announce himself to the boxing world. On paper this looks like a straight forward defence for the man known as "Eagle Eye" though in reality it's a very tough defence for Iwasa.
Iwasa is widely regarded as a world champion in the making and is currently on an 8 fight winning streak following a loss to current WBC champion Shinsuke Yamanaka. Despite his impressive winning run Iwasa will know Pumicpic is a tricky and tough customer who is a genuine banana skin for some fighters and could give Iwasa a genuine shock if the highly touted Japanese fighter isn't on his game.
In the co-feature here former world title challenger Ryo Akaho (21-1-2, 14) will be fighting Filipino veteran Richard Garcia (25-17-1, 7). Although the main event looks competitive this bout certainly seems likely to be one sided with Akaho almost nailed on to win.
On the undercard of this show we've spotted two interesting bouts. The higher profile one is between former Japanese title challenger Daisuke Yokoyama (15-5, 6) and the tough Kenta Takahashi (10-7-2, 3). Although Takahashi is limited he's never been stopped and should extend Yokoyama the scheduled 8 rounds.
The second under-card bout of interest is the debut of former amateur stand out Koki Koshikawa (0-0) who will be kicking off his professional career in a 6 rounder with Japanese based Ghanaian Quaye Peter (5-3-1, 3). Although Peter is no world beater and has lost his last 2 bouts he should have enough to at least ask a few questions of Koshikawa who some are tipping as a really good prospect.
With title fights, prospects and world ranked fighters all in action i's hard to really complain about today with a lot of action worth keeping an eye on.
(Poster courtesy of Boxmob.jp)